Breaking: Senate’s Stolen Mace Recovered Under Bridge In Abuja – Police

Deputy Force Spokesman, SP Aremu Adeniran, said that the mace was abandoned under the flyover before the city gate in Abuja where a passerby saw it and alerted the police.

According to him, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris had ordered the FCT Police Command to beef-up security at the National Assembly.

He said that investigation into the incident was still ongoing to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The deputy spokesman commended Abuja residents, especially motorists, for their cooperation during the rigorous stop and search operation for the recovery of the mace.

Adeniran said that the commitment of the police to guarantee the protection of lives and property and sustain democracy in the country remained unequivocal and unwavering.

The National Assembly had given the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris and Daura Lawal, the Director General of Department of State Services (DSS) 24 hours to recover the mace.

This resolution was made during a joint session of both chambers of National Assembly hurriedly convened at the instance of the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, over the incident.

Ekweremadu was presiding over the Senate session when the symbol of authority was taken away by yet to be identified thugs.

At the joint session, he briefed lawmakers how the armed thugs stormed the Senate chamber in a commando style, beat up the Sargent At Arms who tried to stop them and even tried to kidnap two senators before they made away with the mace.

He asked the police boss, Ibrahim Idris and Director General of DSS, Lawal Daura to go after the invaders and ensure that the mace is recovered.

He described the incident as an affront to the parliament and democracy, just as he vowed to get to the root of the matter.

Ekweremadu and other senators tactically escaped through the emergency doors in order not to be caught up in the melee.

The Senate, in a statement by its spokesperson, Sabi Aliyu, said the thugs who seized the maze were led by a suspended Senate, Mr. Ovie Omo-Agege.

The Senate asserted that the seizure of the mace is an attempt to overthrow the legislative arm of government.

Senator Omo Agege was later arrested at the premises of the National Assembly by a team of police officers led by FCT Commissioner of Police, Sadiq Abubakar Bello.

But a lawyer working with Senator Ovie Omo-Agege denied reports that he was the one behind the theft of the mace at the Senate on Wednesday.

The lawyer also said the senator did not encourage anyone to remove the mace.

The lawyer who identified himself as Barrister Lucky Ajos said in a statement issued on Wednesday evening that contrary to insinuations, the suspended senator went to the National Assembly to work as required of him by the constitution.

Ajos said when Omo-Agege arrived at the National Assembly, some senators tried to send him away from the Senate while some welcomed him warmly.

He said, “A few champions of the unconstitutional, invalid and tyrannical suspension tried to stop him, but those who opposed it welcomed and protected him throughout the sitting.”

Denying reports that Omo-Agege incited some people to steal the mace, Ajos stated that the allegation was wrong and not true at all.

The lawyer also condemned the statement issued by the Senate Spokesperson, Senator Abdullahi Sabi, while promising to study the statement and take proper actions.

“Without any investigation, Senator Sabi willfully, deliberately and unfairly made very serious allegations against Senator Omo-Agege on the Mace incident. We are carefully studying Senator Sabi’s allegations to ascertain their full ramifications.”

Stressing the innocence of Omo-Agege on the mace affair, Ajos said the police only took the Senator away to hear his side of the story and he has since been released.

The Senate had resorted to the use of a ‘replacement mace’ to conclude the plenary on Wednesday after thugs took away the original mace.


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China’s leader elevated to the level of Mao in Communist pantheon

China’s Communist Party enshrines ‘Xi Jinping Thought’ in constitution
Chinese president Xi Jinping’s political thought was enshrined in the Communist Party’s constitution Oct. 24, putting Xi on par with Mao Zedong, the founder of modern China.(Reuters)
 October 24 at 5:59 AM
 China’s Communist Party formally elevated President Xi Jinping to the same status as party legends Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping on Tuesday, writing his name into its constitution and setting the nation’s leader up for an extended stay in power.The move will make Xi the most powerful Chinese leader in decades, with ambitions to tighten party control over society and make his country a superpower on the world stage.The unanimous vote to enshrine “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in a New Era” in the constitution came on the final day of the week-long 19th Party Congress, a five-yearly gathering of the party elite in the imposing and cavernous Great Hall of the People on the western side of Beijing’s iconic Tiananmen Square.The meeting effectively marks the start of Xi’s second five-year-term as party general secretary, but the chances are now higher that this will not be his last — although in the opaque world of Chinese party politics, nothing is certain.“The amendment of the party constitution effectively confirms Xi Jinping’s aspiration to be the Mao Zedong of the 21st Century — that means a top leader with no constraints on tenure or retirement age,” said Willy Wo-Lap Lam, a political expert at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

 “The fact that he has become the new helmsman of the ship of state, providing guiding principles for party, state and military, provides the perfect justification for him to stay number one well beyond the normal 10 years,”

The inclusion of Xi’s name in the party’s document makes him only the third Chinese leader to be so honored, with his ideology joining Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory as a “guide to action.” It will now become compulsory learning for Chinese students from primary schools through to universities.

China’s Communist Party imposed a system of collective leadership after the death of Mao, scarred by the madness, cruelty and famine one man had imposed through the disasters of the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution.

As a result, Xi’s two predecessors Jiang Zemin and Hu Jintao ruled through consensus — as the “first among equals” at the top of the ladder — and were limited to two terms in power.

Now the party is moving back in the other direction.

Xi’s power is not unlimited, and many of his key policy measures reflect ideas adopted by the party before he took power. Yet the past week has seen an explosion of sycophancy toward China’s leader, after his mammoth three-and-a-half-hour speech kicked off proceedings last Wednesday. This is a personal style of rule, much like Vladi­mir Putin’s in Russia.

Throughout the week, senior officials lined up, one after the other, to abase themselves, lauding Xi’s profound, courageous, thrilling, insightful masterpiece of a speech, that shone “the light of Marxist Truth” and moved some of them from the bottom of their hearts.

“In retrospect it was an overwhelming assertion of authority to a degree unseen since Mao,” said Francois Godemont, director of the China-Asia program at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Xi would have to still have to overcome significant obstacles if he wants to remain in power beyond the next party congress in 2022 when he will be 69 — not the least a convention that officials retire if they are aged 68 or above, said Yanmei Xie, a China policy expert at Gavekal Dragonomics in Beijing.

There had been speculation Xi would break from convention by asking his right-hand-man, the powerful head of the anti-corruption authority Wang Qishan, to stay on for another five years. Yet the 69-year-old Wang’s name does not appear on a new list of Central Committee members, implying the retirement convention remains in place, at least for now.

He would also have to amend the constitution if he wanted a third term as president — or appoint a crony and remain in power behind the scenes, a trick Putin pulled off in 2008.

Nevertheless, the fact that Xi’s name figures in the constitution puts him on a par with the party’s “immortals,” Mao and Deng, who had no term limits and didn’t retire, said Xie.

And the constant drumbeat of propaganda about loyalty to his leadership makes it more difficult for anyone who dares challenge him.

“The introduction of Xi Thought makes the question of succession while Xi is alive a moot issue,” said Bill Bishop, pubisher of the Sinocism newsletter. “So long as Xi has not met Marx, he is is the man with an eponymous theory in the party constitution, so no one will have more authority than him,” — no matter what title Xi holds.

Xi Jinping Thought embodies two important principles, experts say: first that the party is in control of every aspect of life in China, from the economy to the Internet, from politics to culture and religion. The party must be more disciplined, and more responsive to people’s needs, but its leadership must not be questioned.

The second is that China is on a path to become a true global superpower — very much on its own terms.

“Under his reign, there is no more hope of convergence,” said Godemont, referring to the idea that China would become more open, more ruled by law and more democratic, as it became wealthier, that its interests and political system with ultimately converge with those of the West.

The idea of political reform in a Western sense is now firmly out of the window.

Xi’s message is one of a nationalist, assertive China, one that he says will not threaten the world, but will resolutely defend its interests.

If Mao’s era was one of revolution and nation-building, while Deng’s was one of reform and opening that set China on the path to becoming a global economic power, Xi’s era is, perhaps, one of control and nationalism.

Deng’s influence on the course of Chinese history was massive but his power was wielded less explicitly, often from a position behind the scenes. As a result, his “theory on socialism with Chinese characteristics” was not formally incorporated into the party constitution until after his death.

Former leader Jiang’s ideological contribution is recognized in the document as the “Theory of Three Represents,” as is Hu’s “Scientific Outlook on Development,” but neither man is mentioned by name.

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